Human serum albumin nanotubes with esterase activity
T. Komatsu, T. Sato, and C. Böttcher – 2012
A nanocylindrical wall structure was obtained by layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly of poly-L-arginine (PLA) and human serum albumin (HSA) and characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), scanning force microscopy (SFM), and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM). SEM and SFM measurements of a lyophilized powder of (PLA/HSA)3 nanotubes yielded images of round, chimney-like architectures with approximately 100 nm wall thickness. Cryo-TEM images of the hydrated sample revealed that the tube walls are composed of densely packed HSA molecules. Moreover, when small-angle X-ray scattering was used to characterize the individual PLA and HSA components in aqueous solutions, maximum diameters of approximately 28 nm and 8 nm were obtained, respectively. These values indicate the minimum thickness of wall layers consisting of PLA and HSA. It can also be concluded from SEM as well as from cryo-TEM images that the protein cylinders are considerably swollen in the presence of water. Furthermore, HSA retains esterase activity if assembled in nanotubes, as indicated by measurements of para-nitrophenyl acetate hydrolysis under semi-physiological conditions (pH 7.4, 22?degrees C). The enzyme activity parameters (Michaelis constant, Km, and catalytic constant, kcat) were comparable to those of free HSA.